Have you ever seen those people with, like, a hundred piercings
all over their body? Or with tattoos on every available piece of
flesh? Have you seen Michael Jackson? So much plastic surgery
that he became someone else entirely?
Body modification is addictive, it seems. And so it worried me
when my good friend C wanted laser resurfacing of her face.
"Huh?" I asked.
"Oh come on," she retorted, "it's just a little procedure. Just to
get these chicken pox scars off." She pointed at two or three tiny
little millimetre deep scars; barely noticable in my opinion. "I'm
only two inches away from the perfect body size. I'll lose a little
weight, get my face fixed and I'll be perfect!"
I looked at her body which was already a thousand times beyond
perfection. How could she not be satisfied with it? And I realized
that she would never feel perfect, because perfection is always out
She balked when I told her this. "Oh, come on! I just told you:
two inches and laser resurfacing and that's it!"
I shook my head, and explained.
"There are these people who are really into Hi-Fi audio
equipment. Hi-Fi nuts are one term. Anyway, they start off just
like everybody else. They go to Future Shop or Circuit City and
buy a Sony amp, CD player and speakers. And they think 'this
will be good to listen to my music on.' After about a year, however,
they realize that the sound is 'just not good enough' and so they go
about upgrading. They ditch the Sony CD player and go for something a
bit better; say, a Denon with 96kBit oversampling. And that helps
for a few months, but they want more. So they get better speakers:
B&W models at $1000 a pop. But that's not enough. Pretty soon - and
this isn't pretty - they're into tube gear. Yes, vacuum tube
amps to go with their upper-model B&Ws at $5000 each and their
German-made CD players and Technics turntables. People see their
setup and are stunned. 'Wow!' they exclaim. 'The sound is incredible.
You must have paid a lot!'
"Indeed they have at that point. Will they stop? Never. There's
always $40 per foot cables to buy, modifications to the equipment,
and every year new and better equipment. They reach out to the new
gear, every time thinking 'This will make it perfect' and every time
they get tired of it within a year."
"The Hi-Fi nuts have to stop! They have to realize perfection does
not exist and accept the sound they have. Only then will they be able
to listen to their music in peace."
C looked at me quizically. I had ranted for quite a while I guess.
Eventually, she said, calmly, "just two more inches and the laser
resurfacing and I'll be perfect."
Oh, how I wish it were true.